With its season on the line, the Wingate University baseball team edged out Southern New Hampshire, 3-2, in an elimination game during the Division 2 College World Series on Tuesday afternoon.
Wingate, which improved to 35-13, is ranked No. 16 in the nation among Division 2 baseball teams and Southern New Hampshire is ranked 14th.
The win was Wingate’s first ever victory in a College World Series game. The Bulldogs had to play in the elimination game after falling to 9th-ranked Angelo State in the first round of the double-elimination tournament on Sunday.
“It’s special. Anything we do moving forward is new territory for this program,” Wingate head coach Jeff Gregory said after the win. “We’re still building this program and trying to find ways to enhance the program. I’m just proud of our guys.”
The Bulldogs were victorious Tuesday thanks in part to the pitching performance of sophomore Brody McCullough, who allowed one run and struck out nine batters in eight innings pitched without walking a batter. McCullough, who is 7-2 on the season, had only pitched past the sixth inning one other time in 2021 prior to Tuesday’s win.
“I was just trying to give the team a chance to win and set the tone on the mound to try and get the offense rolling,” McCullough told reporters after the game. “That’s exactly what happened. We didn’t come out blazing right away, but we were able to tack a few runs on and I carried that momentum onto the mound. It wasn’t my A stuff, but I was able to pitch with it, and they helped me out a little bit when I was behind in the count.”
McCullough’s impressive outing came less than a week after he was honored as Wingate’s only All-American for the 2021 season by the American Baseball Coaches Association/Rawlings Sporting Goods. McCullough was a third-team selection.
Offensively, redshirt sophomore Logan McNeely led the charge, going 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI in the win. Through two games, McNeely is 5-for-7 at the plate in the CWS. The other two Bulldog runs were driven in by redshirt juniors Jed Bryant and Justin Guy.
The Bulldogs were back in action in another elimination game Wednesday against No. 2 seed Seton Hill (late score), which lost to Angelo State, 9-4, on Sunday night. The winner of that game will advance to face Angelo State again on Thursday afternoon.
The Bulldogs were held to just two runs and six hits in the loss to Angelo State over the weekend. Prior to the defeat, Wingate had scored three runs or more in 14 straight games.